ResearchPad - animal-genetics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Breed- and trait-specific associations define the genetic architecture of calving performance traits in cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12669 Reducing the incidence of both the degree of assistance required at calving, as well as the extent of perinatal mortality (PM) has both economic and societal benefits. The existence of heritable genetic variability in both traits signifies the presence of underlying genomic variability. The objective of the present study was to locate regions of the genome, and by extension putative genes and mutations, that are likely to be underpinning the genetic variability in direct calving difficulty (DCD), maternal calving difficulty (MCD), and PM. Imputed whole-genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data on up to 8,304 Angus (AA), 17,175 Charolais (CH), 16,794 Limousin (LM), and 18,474 Holstein-Friesian (HF) sires representing 5,866,712 calving events from descendants were used. Several putative quantitative trait loci (QTL) regions associated with calving performance both within and across dairy and beef breeds were identified, although the majority were both breed- and trait-specific. QTL surrounding and encompassing the myostatin (MSTN) gene were associated (P < 5 × 10−8) with DCD and PM in both the CH and LM populations. The well-known Q204X mutation was the fifth strongest association with DCD in the CH population and accounted for 5.09% of the genetic variance in DCD. In contrast, none of the 259 segregating variants in MSTN were associated (P > × 10−6) with DCD in the LM population but a genomic region 617 kb downstream of MSTN was associated (P < 5 × 10−8). The genetic architecture for DCD differed in the HF population relative to the CH and LM, where two QTL encompassing ZNF613 on Bos taurus autosome (BTA)18 and PLAG1 on BTA14 were identified in the former. Pleiotropic SNP associated with all three calving performance traits were also identified in the three beef breeds; 5 SNP were pleiotropic in AA, 116 in LM, and 882 in CH but no SNP was associated with more than one trait within the HF population. The majority of these pleiotropic SNP were on BTA2 surrounding MSTN and were associated with both DCD and PM. Multiple previously reported, but also novel QTL, associated with calving performance were detected in this large study. These also included QTL regions harboring SNP with the same direction of allele substitution effect for both DCD and MCD thus contributing to a more effective simultaneous selection for both traits.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analyses of three swallow species (Aves, Passeriformes, Hirundinidae): Insights on karyotype evolution and genomic organization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12486 Despite the richness of species in the Hirudinidae family, little is known about the genome organization of swallows. The Progne tapera species presents genetic and morphological difference when compared to other members of the same genus. Hence, the aims of this study were to analyze the chromosomal evolution of three species Progne tapera, Progne chalybea and Pygochelidon cyanoleuca - by comparative chromosome painting using two sets of probes, Gallus gallus and Zenaida auriculata, in order to determine chromosome homologies and the relationship between these species. All karyotypes exhibited 76 chromosomes with similar morphology, except for the 5th, 6th and 7th chromosome pairs in P. cyanoleuca. Additionally, comparative chromosome painting demonstrated the same hybridization pattern in the two Progne, which was similar to the putative avian ancestral karyotype, except for the centric fission in the first pair, as found in other Passeriformes. Thus, these data display a close relationship between the Progne species. Although P. cyanoleuca demonstrated the same fission in the first pair of the ancestral syntenic (GGA1), it also showed an additional chromosomal rearrangement for this species, namely a fusion with a microchromosome in the seventh pair.

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<![CDATA[Complete mitochondrial genome of the Florida manatee (<i>Trichechus manatus latirotris</i>, Sirenia)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12481 The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is an endangered subspecies of the West Indian manatee (T. manatus), which inhabits inland and marine waters of southeastern United States. In this study, we assembled the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of the Florida manatee from whole genome shotgun reads. As a result, we show that the currently annotated T. manatus mtDNA belongs to a different species, the Amazonian manatee (T. inunguis). The newly assembled Florida manatee mtDNA is 16,881 bp in length, with 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), 22 transfer RNAs (tRNAs) and one non-coding control region (D-loop). Phylogenetic analysis based on the control region indicates the newly assembled mtDNA is haplotype A01, characteristic of T. m. latirostris, while the current mtDNA associated with the Florida manatee genome assembly has a Ti02 haplotype that is found in Amazonian manatees and hybrids.

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<![CDATA[Non-random distribution of microsatellite motifs and (TTAGGG)n repeats in the monkey frog <i>Pithecopus rusticus</i> (Anura, Phyllomedusidae) karyotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10922 The monkey frog, Pithecopus rusticus (Anura, Phyllomedusidae) is endemic to the grasslands of the Araucarias Plateau, southern Brazil. This species is known only from a small population found at the type locality. Here, we analyzed for the first time the chromosomal organization of the repetitive sequences, including seven microsatellite repeats and telomeric sequences (TTAGGG)n in the karyotype of the species by Fluorescence in situ Hybridization. The dinucleotide motifs had a pattern of distribution clearly distinct from those of the tri- and tetranucleotides. The dinucleotide motifs are abundant and widely distributed in the chromosomes, located primarily in the subterminal regions. The tri- and tetranucleotides, by contrast, tend to be clustered, with signals being observed together in the secondary constriction of the homologs of pair 9, which are associated with the nucleolus organizer region. As expected, the (TTAGGG)n probe was hybridized in all the telomeres, with hybridization signals being detected in the interstitial regions of some chromosome pairs. We demonstrated the variation in the abundance and distribution of the different microsatellite motifs and revealed their non-random distribution in the karyotype of P. rusticus. These data contribute to understand the role of repetitive sequences in the karyotype diversification and evolution of this taxon.

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<![CDATA[RNA‐Seq Analysis of Genetic and Transcriptome Network Effects of Dual‐Trait Selection for Ethanol Preference and Withdrawal Using SOT and NOT Genetic Models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7353 SOT (Old English for drunkard) mice were selected for high alcohol preference/low withdrawal, with NOTs selected for the opposite phenotype. A cluster analysis showed genetic separation of the lines with SOTs genetically closer to the C57BL/6 founder, and NOTs genetically closer to the DBA/2 founder. The effects of selection on gene expression in SOTs and NOTs implicates genes involved in cell and synaptic interactions, energy metabolism and oxidative stress in alcohol preference and withdrawal.

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<![CDATA[Chromosome comparison among five species of Neotropical cichlids of <i>Cichlasoma</i> and <i>Gymnogeophagus</i> (Perciformes)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc5de3810-d84a-435d-bcd2-a2265593911c The genera Cichlasoma and Gymnogeophagus belong to the subfamily Cichlinae, the only one in Neotropical cichlids. Cichlasoma dimerus, C. paranaense, C. portalegrense, Gymnogeophagus rhabdotus, and G. lacustris were collected at different points in the Paranapanema and Paraguay basins and the Lagoon of Patos hydrographic system. In addition to conventional analysis, CMA3 fluorochrome staining, and FISH with 18S rDNA probe were performed. All species had a diploid number equal to 48, with interand intraspecific differences in karyotype formulae. All species presented a single AgNOR site, except G. rhabdotus and the C. paranaense population of the Paranapanema River, which revealed more than one pair of nucleolar chromosomes. AgNORs were coincident to 18S rDNA and CMA3. Heterochromatin was distributed in the pericentromeric chromosomal regions and coincident with NORs. For the first time, this work shows cytogenetic data for C. portalegrense, G. lacustris, and G. rhabdotus. Although some results reinforce the idea of conservative chromosome evolution of 2n in Cichlinae, interspecific and populational variations observed confirm that chromosomal rearrangements affect the microstructural karyotype diversification in this group of fish.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptome analyses of <i>Ditylenchus destructor</i> in responses to cold and desiccation stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N79ae7b24-72e7-430f-a157-4645b2bbe1d8 The objective of this study was to identify molecular responses in Ditylenchus destructor to cold and desiccation by means of transcriptomes analyses. A total of 102,517 unigenes were obtained, with an average length of 1,076 bp, in which 58,453 (57%) had a functional annotation. A total of 1154 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) distributed over 1078 unigenes were detected. Gene expression profiles in response to cold and desiccation stress and the expression of specific stress-related genes were compared. Gene ontology analysis and pathway-based analysis were used to further investigate the functions of the differentially expressed genes. The reliability of the sequencing data was verified through quantitative real-time PCR analysis of 19 stress-related genes. RNA interference used to further assess the functions of the cold-related unigenes 15628 and 15596 showed that the knockdown of each of these genes led to decreased cold tolerance of D. destructor. Hence, this study revealed molecular processes and pathways active in cold- or dessication-treated nematodes. The transcriptome profiles presented in this study provide insight into the transcriptome complexity and will contribute to further understand stress tolerance in D. destructor.

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<![CDATA[Molecular identification of <i>Mazama</i> species (Cervidae: Artiodactyla) from natural history collections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7a842b4a-e04d-4ef0-8588-8b5caf563ba4 Natural history museum collections constitute an invaluable patrimony of biological diversity for analysing the taxa distribution and evolution. However, it is very common to discover taxonomic misidentification in museum collections based on incorrect data. The aim of this research was to identify brocket deer species (Mazama genus) using molecular markers. We collected 199 samples, performed DNA extraction and species identification using a specific mitochondrial marker based on a fragment of cytochrome b (Cytb) for Neotropical deer. We achieved the amplification and sequencing of 77 specimens and verified that 26% of the skulls were wrongly identified. Moreover, in the museum collections 57% of the specimens were only identified as Mazama sp, and we were able to identify them by molecular methods to the species level. Our findings clearly demonstrate the importance of integrating molecular analyses to identify Mazama species, since using only external morphology can result in a high probability of errors. We recommend the selection of non-convergent morphological characters, which together with the use of DNA collected from museum specimens should contribute to more accurate taxonomic identifications.

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<![CDATA[SNP Identification by Transcriptome Sequencing and Candidate Gene-Based Association Analysis for Heat Tolerance in the Bay Scallop Argopecten irradians]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9fe9f

The northern bay scallop Argopecten irradians irradians (Lamarck) and the southern bay scallop Argopecten irradians concentricus (Say) were introduced into China in the 1980s and 1990s, and are now major aquaculture molluscs in China. Here, we report the transcriptome sequencing of the two subspecies and the subsequent association analysis on candidate gene on the trait of heat tolerance. In total, RNA from six tissues of 67 and 42 individuals of northern and southern bay scallops, respectively, were used and 55.5 and 34.9 million raw reads were generated, respectively. There were 82,267 unigenes produced in total, of which 32,595 were annotated. Altogether, 32,206 and 23,312 high-quality SNPs were identified for northern and southern bay scallops, respectively. For case-control analysis, two intercrossed populations were heat stress treated, and both heat-susceptible and heat-resistant individuals were collected. According to annotation and SNP allele frequency analysis, 476 unigenes were selected, and 399 pairs of primers were designed. Genotyping was conducted using the high-resolution melting method, and Fisher’s exact test was performed for allele frequency comparison between the heat-susceptible and heat-resistant groups. SNP all-53308-760 T/C showed a significant difference in allele frequency between the heat-susceptible and heat-resistant groups. Notably, considerable difference in allele frequency at this locus was also observed between the sequenced natural populations. These results suggest that SNP all-53308-760 T/C may be related to the heat tolerance of the bay scallop. Moreover, quantitative expression analysis revealed that the expression level of all-53308 was negatively correlated with heat tolerance of the bay scallop.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of the genomic prediction accuracy for feed efficiency traits in meat-type chickens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc4ab

Feed represents the major cost of chicken production. Selection for improving feed utilization is a feasible way to reduce feed cost and greenhouse gas emissions. The objectives of this study were to investigate the efficiency of genomic prediction for feed conversion ratio (FCR), residual feed intake (RFI), average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) and to assess the impact of selection for feed efficiency traits FCR and RFI on eviscerating percentage (EP), breast muscle percentage (BMP) and leg muscle percentage (LMP) in meat-type chickens. Genomic prediction was assessed using a 4-fold cross-validation for two validation scenarios. The first scenario was a random family sampling validation (CVF), and the second scenario was a random individual sampling validation (CVR). Variance components were estimated based on the genomic relationship built with single nucleotide polymorphism markers. Genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) were predicted using a genomic best linear unbiased prediction model. The accuracies of GEBV were evaluated in two ways: the correlation between GEBV and corrected phenotypic value divided by the square root of heritability, i.e., the correlation-based accuracy, and model-based theoretical accuracy. Breeding values were also predicted using a conventional pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction model in order to compare accuracies of genomic and conventional predictions. The heritability estimates of FCR and RFI were 0.29 and 0.50, respectively. The heritability estimates of ADG, ADFI, EP, BMP and LMP ranged from 0.34 to 0.53. In the CVF scenario, the correlation-based accuracy and the theoretical accuracy of genomic prediction for FCR were slightly higher than those for RFI. The correlation-based accuracies for FCR, RFI, ADG and ADFI were 0.360, 0.284, 0.574 and 0.520, respectively, and the model-based theoretical accuracies were 0.420, 0.414, 0.401 and 0.382, respectively. In the CVR scenario, the correlation-based accuracy and the theoretical accuracy of genomic prediction for FCR was lower than RFI, which was different from the CVF scenario. The correlation-based accuracies for FCR, RFI, ADG and ADFI were 0.449, 0.593, 0.581 and 0.627, respectively, and the model-based theoretical accuracies were 0.577, 0.629, 0.631 and 0.638, respectively. The accuracies of genomic predictions were 0.371 and 0.322 higher than the conventional pedigree-based predictions for the CVF and CVR scenarios, respectively. The genetic correlations of FCR with EP, BMP and LMP were -0.427, -0.156 and -0.338, respectively. The correlations between RFI and the three carcass traits were -0.320, -0.404 and -0.353, respectively. These results indicate that RFI and FCR have a moderate accuracy of genomic prediction. Improving RFI and FCR could be favourable for EP, BMP and LMP. Compared with FCR, which can be improved by selection for ADG in typical meat-type chicken breeding programs, selection for RFI could lead to extra improvement in feed efficiency.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of fixed sources of variation and estimation of genetic parameters for incidence of bovine respiratory disease in preweaned calves and feedlot cattle12]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N80b43502-71cb-4d6e-92dd-3d9ed300a9b3

ABSTRACT

The primary objective of this study was to estimate variance components and heritability of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) incidence in beef calves before weaning and during the finishing phase. The second objective was to investigate the impact of BRD incidence and treatment frequency on performance and carcass traits. Bovine respiratory disease is the biggest and most costly health challenge facing the cattle industry. The 2 populations used consisted of 1,519 preweaned calves and 3,277 head of feedlot cattle. The incidence rate of BRD in preweaned calves was 11.39%, and among treated cattle, 82.1% were treated once, 13.9% were treated twice, and 4.0% were treated 3 times or more. The incidence of BRD (P = 0.35) and the number of treatments (P = 0.77) had no significant effect on weaning BW. Heritability estimates of the entire preweaned population for BRD resistance and number of treatments were 0.11 ± 0.06 and 0.08 ± 0.05, respectively. The genetic correlation estimates for BRD incidence with weaning BW and birth BW were low (−0.02 ± 0.32 and 0.07 ± 0.27, respectively). The same estimate for the number of BRD treatments with weaning BW and birth BW was 0.25 ± 0.35 and 0.30 ± 0.27, respectively. The observed BRD incidence rate for feedlot cattle was observed at 9.43%. Incidence of BRD significantly (P < 0.01) decreased overall and acclimation ADG by 0.06 ± 0.01 kg/d and 0.28 ± 0.03 kg/d, respectively. Carcass traits were also significantly (P < 0.05) affected by BRD incidence; untreated cattle had a 9.1 ± 1.7-kg heavier HCW. Results were similar in the analysis of treatment frequency. The heritability estimate of BRD incidence and the number of treatments were 0.07 ± 0.04 and 0.02 ± 0.03, respectively. Estimates of genetic correlations of BRD incidence with production traits were −0.63 ± 0.22 for acclimation ADG, −0.04 ± 0.23 for on-test ADG, −0.31 ± 0.21 for overall ADG, −0.39 ± 0.21 for final BW, −0.22 ± 0.22 for HCW, −0.03 ± 0.22 for LM area, 0.24 ± 0.25 for fat, and −0.43 ± 0.20 for marbling score. Similar results for the number of treatments and production traits were −1.00 ± 0.68 for acclimation ADG, −0.04 ± 0.39 for on-test ADG, −0.47 ± 0.41 for overall ADG, −0.66 ± 0.40 for final BW, −0.58 ± 0.45 for HCW, −0.12 ± 0.38 for LM area, 0.42 ± 0.50 for fat, and −0.32 ± 0.37 for marbling score. Because of the high economic cost associated with BRD incidence, even these modest estimates for heritability of BRD resistance should be considered for incorporation into beef cattle breeding programs.

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<![CDATA[F4-related mutation and expression analysis of the aminopeptidase N gene in pigs1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N582c7b9b-f0fd-4cdc-adce-f5b77c7bd00a

ABSTRACT

Intestinal infections with F4 enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are worldwide an important cause of diarrhea in neonatal and recently weaned pigs. Adherence of F4 ETEC to the small intestine by binding to specific receptors is mediated by F4 fimbriae. Porcine aminopeptidase N (ANPEP) was recently identified as a new F4 receptor. In this study, 7 coding mutations and 1 mutation in the 3′ untranslated region (3' UTR)were identified in ANPEP by reverse transcriptase (RT–) PCR and sequencing using 3 F4 receptor-positive (F4R+) and 2 F4 receptor-negative (F4R–) pigs, which were F4 phenotyped based on the MUC4 TaqMan, oral immunization, and the in vitro villous adhesion assay. Three potential differential mutations (g.2615C > T, g.8214A > G, and g.16875C > G) identified by comparative analysis between the 3 F4R+ and 2 F4R– pigs were genotyped in 41 additional F4 phenotyped pigs. However, none of these 3 mutations could be associated with F4 ETEC susceptibility. In addition, the RT-PCR experiments did not reveal any differential expression or alternative splicing in the small intestine of F4R+ and F4R– pigs. In conclusion, we hypothesize that the difference in F4 binding to ANPEP is due to modifications in its carbohydrate moieties.

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<![CDATA[Genetic parameters estimated at receiving for circulating cortisol, immunoglobulin G, interleukin 8, and incidence of bovine respiratory disease in feedlot beef steers1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Naf19e637-5cc8-4528-b3c9-bfae1b22beb1

ABSTRACT

Bovine respiratory disease complex (i.e., shipping fever and bacterial bronchopneumonia) is a multifaceted respiratory illness influenced by numerous environmental factors and microorganisms. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is just one component of BRD complex. Because BRD is moderately heritable, it may be possible to reduce the incidence of BRD through genetic selection. The objectives of this study were to determine the heritability and associative genetic relationships among immune system traits (i.e., cortisol, total IgG, IgG isotypes, and IL-8) in cattle monitored for BRD incidence. At an average of 83 d after weaning (219 d age and mean = 221.7 kg [SD 4.34]), crossbred Bos taurus steer calves (n = 2,869) were received at a commercial feedlot in southeastern Colorado over a 2-yr period. At receiving, jugular blood samples were collected at 212 (yr 1) and 226 d (yr 2) of age for immune trait analyses. The BRD phenotype was defined as a binomial variable (0 = no and 1 = yes) and compared with immune system traits measured at receiving (prior to illness onset). An animal identified as BRD positive exhibited ≥ 2 clinical signs (i.e., eye or nasal discharge, cough, lethargy, rapid breathing, acute interstitial pneumonia, or acute upper respiratory syndrome and/or a rectal temperature > 39.7°C). Heritability and genetic correlation estimates for categorical variable BRD, cortisol, IgG, IgG1, IgG2, and IL-8 were estimated from a sire model using ASREML. Heritability estimates were low to moderate for BRD (0.17 ± 0.08), cortisol (0.13 ± 0.05), IgG (0.15 ± 0.05), IgG1 (0.11 ± 0.05), IgG2 (0.24 ± 0.06), and IL-8 (0.30 ± 0.06). A moderate negative genetic correlation was determined between BRD and cortisol (rg = −0.19 ± 0.32). Moderate positive correlations were found between BRD with IgG (0.42 ± 0.28), IgG1 (0.36 ± 0.32), and IL-8 (rg = 0.26 ± 0.26). Variation in the BRD phenotype and immune system traits suggested herd health improvement may be achieved through genetic selection.

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<![CDATA[Novel Ethanol‐Sensitive Mutants Identified in an F3 Forward Genetic Screen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6c253323-5127-48d7-ad94-f4cb80ee1748

Background

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) collectively refer to all deleterious outcomes due to prenatal alcohol exposures. Alterations to the face are common phenotypes in FASD. While alcohol exposure is the underlying cause of FASD, many variables modify the outcomes of such exposures. Genetic risk is one such variable, yet we still have a limited understanding of the nature of the genetic loci mediating susceptibility to FASD.

Methods

We employed ENU‐based random mutagenesis in zebrafish to identify mutations that enhanced the teratogenicity of ethanol (EtOH). F3 embryos obtained from 126 inbred F2 families were exposed to 1% EtOH in the medium (approximately 41 mM tissue levels). Zebrafish stained with Alcian Blue and Alizarin Red were screened for qualitative alterations to the craniofacial skeleton between 4 and 7 days postfertilization (dpf).

Results

In all, we recovered 6 EtOH‐sensitive mutants, 5 from the genetic screen itself and one as a background mutation in one of our wild‐type lines. Each mutant has a unique EtOH‐induced phenotype relative to the other mutant lines. All but 1 mutation appears to be recessive in nature, and only 1 mutant, au29, has apparent craniofacial defects in the absence of EtOH. To validate the genetic screen, we genetically mapped au29 and found that it carries a mutation in a previously uncharacterized gene, si:dkey‐88l16.3.

Conclusions

The phenotypes of these EtOH‐sensitive mutants differ from those in previous characterizations of gene–EtOH interactions. Thus, each mutant is likely to provide novel insights into EtOH teratogenesis. Given that most of these mutants only have craniofacial defects in the presence of EtOH and our mapping of au29, it is also likely that many of the mutants will be previously uncharacterized. Collectively, our findings point to the importance of unbiased genetic screens in the identification, and eventual characterization, of risk alleles for FASD.

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<![CDATA[Nutrigenomics in livestock—recent advances]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N04119ff1-8236-4c9a-a2a8-40b0b1d276cd

The study of the effects of nutrients on genome functioning, in terms of gene transcription, protein levels, and epigenetic mechanisms, is referred to as nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomic studies in farm animals, as distinct from rodents, are limited by the high cost of keeping livestock, their long generational distance, and ethical aspects. Yet farm animals, and particularly pigs, can serve as valuable animal models for human gastrological diseases, since they possess similar size, physiology, and nutritional habits and can develop similar pathological states. In livestock, the effects of dietary modifications have mostly been studied with reference to effective breeding and their influence on production traits and animal health. The majority of such studies have looked at the impact of various sources and quantities of fat and protein, supplementation with microelements, and plant-derived additives. The period of life of the animal—whether prenatal, neonatal, or mature—is typically considered when a modified diet is used. This review presents a summary of recent nutrigenomic studies in livestock.

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<![CDATA[Chromosomal characterization of Amazonian freshwater stingrays with evidence for new karyomorphs and XX/XY sex chromosomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7edccc23-6a87-495c-8597-fbbb632c0f85

Abstract

Cytogenetic studies in the subfamily Potamotrygoninae have provided valuable insights into the understanding of the evolution and diversification of its species. In the present study, the chromosomal features of seven nominal potamotrygonin species are provided: Plesiotrygon iwamae (2n=74, FN=120), Potamotrygon amazona (2n=66, FN=107), P. constellata (2n=66, FN=110), P. leopoldi (2n=64, FN=102), P. motoro (2n=66, FN=106) from four different localities, and P. orbignyi (2n=66, FN=106), P. scobina (2n=66, FN=104), from Central Amazon. Additionally, we found a new karyomorph in P. wallacei. We considered the localization of Nucleolus Organizer Regions (NORs), as well as the pattern of constitutive heterochromatin, as species-specific characters. We found an XX/XY sex chromosome system in P. orbignyi, and we suggest that P. scobina and P. amazona also possess the same sex chromosome system. Overall, the chromosomal evolution in this group appears to have progressed towards a reduction in diploid number, with a concomitant increase in the number of bi-armed and nucleolar chromosomes.

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<![CDATA[Whole genome SNPs discovery in Nero Siciliano pig]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne59eadf2-be6f-466d-bff0-da7204842ccd

Abstract

Autochthonous pig breeds represent an important genetic reserve to be utilized mainly for the production of typical products. To explore its genetic variability, here we present for the first time whole genome sequencing data and SNPs discovered in a male domestic Nero Siciliano pig compared to the last pig reference genome Sus scrofa11.1.A total of 346.8 million paired reads were generated by sequencing. After quality control, 99.03% of the reads were mapped to the reference genome, and over 11 million variants were detected.Additionally, we evaluated sequence diversity in 21 fitness-related loci selected based on their biological function and/or their proximity to relevant QTLs. We focused on genes that have been related to environmental adaptation and reproductive traits in previous studies regarding local breeds. A total of 6,747 variants were identified resulting in a rate of 1 variant every ~276 bases. Among these variants 1,132 were novel to the dbSNP151 database. This study represents a first step in the genetic characterization of Nero Siciliano pig and also provides a platform for future comparative studies between this and other swine breeds.

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<![CDATA[Epigenetic inheritance of telomere length in wild birds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14b0d5eed0c48467a620

Telomere length (TL) predicts health and survival across taxa. Variation in TL between individuals is thought to be largely of genetic origin, but telomere inheritance is unusual, because zygotes already express a TL phenotype, the TL of the parental gametes. Offspring TL changes with paternal age in many species including humans, presumably through age-related TL changes in sperm, suggesting an epigenetic inheritance mechanism. However, present evidence is based on cross-sectional analyses, and age at reproduction is confounded with between-father variation in TL. Furthermore, the quantitative importance of epigenetic TL inheritance is unknown. Using longitudinal data of free-living jackdaws Corvus monedula, we show that erythrocyte TL of subsequent offspring decreases with parental age within individual fathers, but not mothers. By cross-fostering eggs, we confirmed the paternal age effect to be independent of paternal age dependent care. Epigenetic inheritance accounted for a minimum of 34% of the variance in offspring TL that was explained by paternal TL. This is a minimum estimate, because it ignores the epigenetic component in paternal TL variation and sperm TL heterogeneity within ejaculates. Our results indicate an important epigenetic component in the heritability of TL with potential consequences for offspring fitness prospects.

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<![CDATA[Heritability and evolvability of morphological traits of Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) breeding in agricultural grasslands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466568d5eed0c484519032

Heritability and evolvability estimates of adult traits from free-living bird populations can be used to gauge the ability of populations to respond to selection, but are rare due to difficulties in gathering detailed pedigree information. The capacity to respond to selection is particularly important for species occupying managed habitats such as agricultural grasslands because of the potential for humans to accidentally influence traits. We calculated heritability and evolvability of six morphological traits in a population of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) breeding in a large agricultural landscape. We used microsatellite analysis to determine a genetic pedigree, revealing a high level of extra-pair paternity (63%) within a relatively philopatric population. For the entire population, heritabilities varied from low to high (bill width: 0.160±0.182 to tarsus length: 0.651±0.155), while evolvabilities were low across all traits (wing length: 0.035±0.013 to body mass: 0.066±0.106). Our results indicate that any directional selection from agricultural management practices will produce negligible changes in basic morphometrics of Savannah sparrow populations occupying the Champlain Valley of Vermont, USA.

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<![CDATA[Geographic patterns of mtDNA and Z-linked sequence variation in the Common Chiffchaff and the ‘chiffchaff complex’]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b90d5eed0c48491d417

The Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita is an abundant, polytypic Palearctic bird. Validity of some of its subspecies is controversial and birds from some parts of the species range remain unclassified taxonomically. The relationships among populations from different geographic areas have not been sufficiently explored with molecular data. In this study we analyzed the relationships among the four species in the ‘chiffchaff complex’ (Common Chiffchaff, Iberian Chiffchaff P. ibericus, Canary Islands Chiffchaff P. canariensis and Mountain Chiffchaff P. sindianus), and the patterns of intraspecific geographic variation in the mtDNA ND2 gene and intron 9 of the Z-linked aconitase gene (ACO1I9) across the Common Chiffchaff range, including a recently discovered population breeding on Mt. Hermon (Anti-Lebanon mountains). Our data supported the monophyly of the chiffchaff complex and its current systematics at the species level. Within the Common Chiffchaff, the Siberian race P. c. tristis was the most differentiated subspecies and may represent a separate or incipient species. Other Common Chiffchaff subspecies also were differentiated in their mtDNA, however, lineages of neighboring subspecies formed wide zones of introgression. The Mt. Hermon population was of mixed genetic origin but contained some birds with novel unique lineage that could not be assigned to known subspecies. All Common Chiffchaff lineages diverged at the end of the Ionian stage of Pleistocene. Lineage sorting of ACO1I9 alleles was not as complete as that of mtDNA. Chiffchaff species were mostly distinct at ACO1I9, except the Common and Canary Islands Chiffchaffs that shared multiple alleles. An AMOVA identified geographic structure in Common Chiffchaff ACO1I9 variation that was broadly consistent with that of mtDNA ND2 gene. The genetic and other data suggest the chiffchaff complex to be a group of evolutionarily young taxa that represent a paradigm of ‘species evolution in action’ from intergrading subspecies through to apparently complete biological speciation.

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